Rostam Azizi: Profile of Tanzania's Richest Man Eyeing Kenya's Cooking Gas Business
According to Forbes, 58-year-old Rostam Azizi, who launched a Taifa Gas plant in Dongo Kundu in Mombasa, is one of the wealthiest people in Tanzania. The tycoon is a fifth-generation Persian businessman, economist, and former politician.
The former Member of the Tanzanian Parliament (MP) representing Igunga Constituency completed his Bachelor’s in Economics from Exeter after schooling in Tanzania.
His entry into the business world started with a role in the family’s trading business before later branching out independently. Today, the tycoon owns nearly 18 per cent of Vodacom, Tanzania’s largest mobile phone company.
Tanzanian Tycoon Rostam Azizi speaking at Serena hotel in Nairobi on May 5, 2021.
In May 2014, he sold his 17 per cent share of Vodacom Tanzania to Vodacom Group, a South African Company, for an estimated Ksh31 billion (USD 250 million).
Azizi had controlled the shares through his company, Cavalry Holdings, a Jersey island-registered private investment company.
In yet another venture, the tycoon partnered with Axian Group of Madagascar to acquire Tigo and Zantel in Tanzania at the cost of Ksh12 billion (USD100 million) in April 2022.
His portfolio also straddles Tanzania’s aviation industry when, in September 2022 through Taifa Aviation Company, he acquired a 51 per cent stake in Coastal Travels from Italian-American investor Carolina Colangelo.
He also owns Caspian mining, a contract mining firm in Tanzania that provides mining services to mining giants like BHP Billiton and Barrick Gold.
Azizi runs real estate property in Tanzania, Dubai, and Oman. He also has a minority stake in a container terminal in Tanzania.
Taifa Gas Link to Kenya
Taifa, the largest LPG supplier in Tanzania, has been feeding the Kenyan LPG market by road.
Taifa Gas will build the largest gas import and storage facility in East Africa. It aims to provide cheaper LPG in Kenya.
With the entry of Taifa Gas into the Kenyan market, the mogul launched stiff competition against Mombasa-based businessman Mohammed Jaffer who owns Proto Gas.
File photo of Gas Cylinders on display at an outlet in Nairobi City